Say Ahhhh – What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

Our tongue, it’s one of those things we all take for granted! As children we explored the world with our tongues, licking everything in sight (much to our mother’s dismay) and sticking it out at our siblings and parents just to get their reaction. As young adults we learned there was more to our tongue while exploring our first kisses and exotic foods.

But the tongue is more than just a random body part, our tongues play a key role in our ability to taste and swallow food. And believe it or not, your tongue can also provide your dentist with clues to both your oral health and your overall health.  In fact, you might be surprised what your tongue can tell you about your health. Get ready to say, “Ahhhhhhh!”

What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

White Coating on Tongue

Your tongue should be a beautiful pink shade. When portions of your tongue tend to be coated with a white substance, it may be an oral thrush, an overgrowth of yeast that occurs within the oral cavity. It might be whitish, of course, not to brush your tongue while you brush your teeth. You’re doing that, you don’t? You’re ready to go if the white brushes back.

White Patches on Tongue

Leukoplakia is a disorder that can arise if the tongue, such as cigarettes or tobacco use, has been irritated. Every medical professional will advise you to leave that habit of tobacco, but ultimately it is up to you. However, if you see white patches, book a dentist appointment to be on the safe side and exclude oral cancer.

Overly Red Tongue

While an overly red tongue can be a symptom of a Kawasaki disease, it’s much more commonly associated with a vitamin deficiency, such as folic acid or B-12. The solution could be simply adding a vitamin supplement to your morning smoothie. That’s not so bad, right?

Irregular Red Bumpy Patches

If your tongue looks like a randomly drawn map with irregular red and bumpy lines, it’s not a fortune-teller indication you’re going on a trip in the near future. You may have a high fever, and taking a long trip overseas is the last thing you should do!

Tender, Sore Tongue

If in one spot or all over your tongue is overly sensitive, you may have an allergy to food or a canker sore. Unless it goes away for a while, don’t worry about it. After that, time to call a professional opinion in the dentist!

Hairy Tongue

Yeah, it sounds strange, but sometimes a protein build-up may cause small bumps to become elongated trapping food resulting in hair strands on your tongue that look like that. A good cleaning and scraping of the tongue would typically take care of it, but if not, a visit to the dentist would be in order.

Your dentist is the first line of defense against both serious and benign health concerns. So, stick out your tongue at the dentist and be ready for a comprehensive oral checkup. You never know what your tongue might be telling you about your health! Worried about your tongue or just need to schedule a dental check-up? Find a dentist in Fremont, Union City, Bay Area, California using our interactive find a dentist feature on our website. We look forward to seeing you and seeing what that tongue of yours is telling us about your health.

8 Great Ways to Improve Your Smile

Whitening

There are a range of teeth whitening products you can attempt when it comes to having a whiter and brighter smile. Bleaching in-office or at-home is your main options. (Look for an ADA Seal of Acceptance whitening item.) You should talk to your dentist before beginning any whitening therapy. Your dentist will tell you what, if any, whitening procedures will work best for you.

Crowns

A crown is a nice way to cover discolored or poorly formed teeth. A crown can strengthen your tooth and enhance its appearance. Crowns can also be used to connect bridges, safeguard against breaking a fragile tooth, or restore one that has already been broken.

Veneers

Veneers are thin shells made of colored tooth products intended to cover the teeth’s front side. Unlike bonding, to accommodate the shell, a small amount of enamel must be removed from your tooth. They are intended to look like your natural teeth based on a model of your mouth.

Bonding

Not satisfied with the look of your teeth? The response may be bonding. For some, it can assist restore your teeth’s natural appearance. Bonding is a method in which the dentist directly attaches products to your tooth or “bonds.” In order to produce a powerful structure that looks good, your natural tooth enamel and dentin are combined with bonding products such as porcelain and resins.

Braces

While orthodontic job that starts as a kid grows helps to generate ideal outcomes, this does not imply that adults are unable to hold braces. Metal brackets are not your only choice thanks to developments in orthodontic treatments. It is possible to use removable aligners, or “unseen braces,” or transparent plastic brackets to straighten crooked or crowded teeth.

Implants

To replace missing teeth, dental implants are a common and efficient way. They act as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth, surgically positioned in the upper or lower jaw. Implants made of titanium and other materials are intended to hold restaurations such as crowns or bridges that mix in with your other teeth and are a long-term choice to restore your smile.

Brushing and Flossing

It may seem apparent, but the most significant instruments for maintaining a good mouth are brushing and flossing. To avoid cavities and enhance your oral health, brush twice and floss at least once a day.

Regular Dental Visits

One of the simplest things you can do to enhance your smile is to go to your dentist twice a year. In addition to checking for cavities and oral illnesses and routine cleaning, your dentist can also provide other alternatives to make your smile brighter.

Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Make Every Day

You don’t clean at the right time of day

If only once a day you were to brush when would be the best time? Naturally, night time! The longest period of the day when you’re not eating when you’re sleeping, and therefore feeding the bacteria that cause decay of the tooth and gum disease. Another mistake I encounter as I speak to people every day is that many people brush up the morning before breakfast. It’s okay to freshen your morning breath, but remember to brush after eating. After all, before exercising in the gym, you wouldn’t have a shower and not after!

You use the wrong brush

Anything but a soft brush can harm not only the teeth, but also the gums. Plaque is smooth and easy to remove. Remember, not how hard you are brushing, it’s how deeply you are brushing. Use a smooth brush at all times.

You ignore the rest of your mouth

In the tiny crevices between the “papillae” on the back of the tongue, your tongue harbors food and bacteria. To get rid of these harmful bacteria, use a tongue scraper or your brush. (Your breath can also be improved!)

Not using proper technique

Believe it or not, I spent 2 years in dental practice before learning how to properly floss! Many people have never really learned how to properly brush either and many dental professionals are guilty of paying “lip service” for proper oral hygiene without showing their patients how to do it properly. If you have any doubts, always check with us. Never “scrub” and don’t apply too much pressure.

Not brushing long enough

The American Dental Association recommends for 2 minutes each time brushing twice a day. If you watch the clock, two minutes is a long time! That’s one reason I’m a fan of electric toothbrushes is because they’re running 2 minutes on a timer so you don’t have to think about it.

You don’t replace your brush

If the bristles get worn, you should probably replace your brush every 3-4 months, more often. Worn bristles will not remove plaque and bacteria effectively. And don’t forget to immediately replace your brush if you were sick! In the bristles, bacteria and viruses from a disease can reside and potentially re-infect you.